Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal Speak About Doping - UBITENNIS
Connect with us

Hot Topics

Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal Speak About Doping

Published

on

Ubi Tennis is already in London interviewing the top 8 contenders for the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals. Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic also spoke about doping following the scandal that recently invested Russia. Do tennis players believe tennis is doing enough to tackle doping? Let’s see wha they said….

 

 

Cesare Alfieri from Ubi Tennis is already at the O2 Arena in London, soon joined by the rest of the crew to present our readers with the best possible coverage of the last ATP event of the year: the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals.

The stars of the racquet have already arrived in London and met with the media on Friday, in the usual pre-tournament press conference. Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal talked about their feeling approaching the last event of their season, but also speak out about hot topics such as doping in tennis and the controls organised to grant a clean professional athleticism.

The issue of doping in sports was recently raised again after a WADA report accused Russian athletics for poor control and possible proof hiding in order to grant athletes’ participation at the 2012 London Olympics. Is tennis controlled enough?

Roger Federer revealed not to be too surprised when hearing the news of doping accusations addressed to Russia. The 17-time Grand Slam champion believes there is a lot more that can be done to grant a clean sport. “Where are the anti-doping controls” Roger admitted asking himself once after playing a final on the tour. It seems aggressive check-ups aren’t as aggressive as it is being told, or as they should be?

It was then time for Novak Djokovic to comment on the news. Clearly hearing what happened has to be considered a “sad page for sports” according to Novak, who however believes the fight against doping in tennis is doing well and athletes are often tested. The Serb attended 3 or 4 extra tests outside of competition this year. Also, athletes are supposed to always inform the anti-doping agency of their moves and their location. Failing to report a move and a stay at a different location leads to a first warning. Three warnings mean athletes can be suspended, as it happened for instance with Novak’s compatriot Viktor Troicki.

Federer thinks tennis is not fighting against doping enough. Djokovic believes the sport is on the right track. What about Rafael Nadal?

The Spaniard believes a solution would be to have the data on tests and the frequency of testing made public. That would increase transparency and allow others to believe whether it is enough or testing should be further increased. To devote part of the prize money to fund anti-doping wasn’t an idea Rafael was crazy about, contrarily to 2013 Wimbledon champion Andy Murray, who thinks the fight to doping could use some extra money to increase efficiency.

Speaking of tournament-related topics, Rafael Nadal clenched on his idea of changing the surface of the ATP finals to red clay at least once every 15 years. Djokovic said he wouldn’t mind to have the Finals moving around the world to use the tournament as a marketing tool to promote the sport to new markets.

Are players tired of playing at the O2 Arena in London?

Focus

David Goffin Slams Hostile French Open Crowd

Published

on

A fan at the French Open spat out their chewing gum at David Goffin during a tense first round clash at the tournament on Tuesday. 

Goffin, who is a former quarter-finalist in Paris, described the reception he received from the crowd as ‘total disrespect’ during his clash against home player Giovanni Mpetshi Perricard. A 20-year-old wild card who recently claimed his maiden Tour title in Lyon. The Belgian managed to oust the home player 4-6, 6-4, 6-3, 6-7 (4), 6-3, after more than three-and-half hours of play. 

During one stage of the match, Goffin was seen holding his hand to his ear towards the rowdy crowd. A gesture he felt he had the right to do considering the atmosphere.

“When you are insulted for three and a half hours, you have to tease the public a little,” The I quoted Goffin as saying.
“Clearly, it goes too far, it’s total disrespect. It’s really too much. It’s becoming football, soon there will be smoke bombs, hooligans and there will be fights in the stands.
“It’s starting to become ridiculous. Some people are there more to cause trouble than to create an atmosphere.
“Someone spat out their chewing gum at me. It [the match] was getting complicated. That’s why I wanted to stay calm. IfI started to get angry about it, it could have destabilised me.”

The French Open crowd has a reputation for being highly animated during matches with there being numerous examples throughout the years. Nicolas Jarry received booing when he walked on the court to play Corentin Moutet after an incident between the two earlier this season. 

“This is repeated a lot in the locker room and among the ATP authorities. We’re going to have to do something about that,” Goffin continued.
“I think it only happens in France. At Wimbledon, obviously, there’s not that. Or in Australia either. And at the US Open, it’s still rather quiet. Here [at Roland Garros], it’s really an unhealthy atmosphere.”

However, former French Open junior doubles champion Mpetshi Perricard has praised the support he got from the fans during his match. It was only the second time in his career that the world No.66 has played in the main draw of a Grand Slam tournament.

“It was really nice to have so much support,” he said.
“I had a lot in Lyon as well, but that was different because here the guys are really with you from first to the last point. It’sreally very pleasant to have such an audience.
“I like it that they encouraged me. It helped me when I was broken in the fourth [set], and I would like to thank them for it. It’s really fantastic to have these guys there.”

Goffin will be hoping to get more support in his second round match against Alexander Zverev on Thursday. He is making his 13th main draw appearance in Paris at the age of 33. 

Continue Reading

Hot Topics

Novak Djokovic Wins First Round at Roland Garros in Straight Sets Again

Serbian delivers in the key moments: “I played a great tiebreak and stayed focussed.”

Published

on

A slightly rusty Novak Djokovic made hard work of his first-round match but came through unscathed against wildcard Pierre-Hugues Herbert 6-4, 7-6 (7-3), 6-3 for his 93rd career win at Roland Garros. 

The three-time winner in the French capital broke early to go 2-1 ahead and held throughout to take the first set 6-4 in 37 minutes. But the world number one has been in patchy form this year and was clearly searching for form during the match – sometimes appearing to move slowly sideways as well as not reacting well to drop shots. However, as he has shown throughout his career, he was clutch during key moments and won the points that mattered.

“I thought it was a good performance for me, solid,” said Dkojovic. “Of course I could have done better, I think, on return games, but also credit to him for serving very well, for changing things up, for seeing every time I would step back for second serve to give him a little bit different look – he would see that, he would come in.”

The second set went with serve until the tie-break where Djokovic took a 3-0 lead with the aid of an excellent wrong-footing backhand volley at the end of a gruelling 25-shot rally – which led to the first sustained fist pumps from the top seed. Herbert dumped a forehand in the net when 6-3 down and found himself two sets to love behind with a mountain to climb. 

The third set also went with serve and contained some beautiful points, to the delight of the home crowd who tried to raise more support for Herbert. But the Frenchman lost the match on his seventh double fault, and only won 51% of points on second serve and was passed eighteen times overall. Still, he regularly troubled the Serbian with his kick serve and received praise for his efforts: “His kick is tremendous,” described Djokovic. “Honestly, one of the best kick serves I have faced. [He’s] very talented, mixing things up. He can come to the net, just very crafty with his hands.”

That high-bounce off the serve perhaps explained why the Djokovic return was not at its usual high standard, but even though the Serb was short of his customary ruthlessness, he still kept calm and composed himself for the key moments, particularly the second set tie-break which he won convincingly.

The 37-year-old, who slipped when chasing a drop shot in the final game and was inexplicably booed by the home crowd for taking his time dusting off the clay, revealed the importance of the Majors as his career nears its end: “Grand Slams are the ones that are basically getting me up from the bed every day and knowing that I have to hit the practice courts. I always think about what I can do in Grand Slams. So here I am. Hopefully I can have another deep run.”

Djokovic is surely going to improve as the tournament progresses. He managed 68% of first serves in and won an impressive 84% of those points as well as 73% of second serves. He ended the match with four aces and an excellent 79% of points whilst at net. Remarkably, he has now won every first-round match since 2011 in straight sets, and has not lost before the quarter-finals since 2010.

Afterwards, Djokovic also spoke about being courtside for Sunday’s first-round blockbuster between Rafael Nadal and Alexander Zverev: “I don’t recall last time I actually watched a set of any match live on that level, other than Davis Cup,” he said. “It was great. Iga was there, Alcaraz was there, and we all wanted to get a glimpse of the atmosphere, you know, of that possibly unique moment, that could be his last. But Rafa was a bit unlucky with the draw, because Zverev, he is in a great form, winning Rome, and he was serving extremely well. It’s tough to play Sascha when he’s feeling the ball so well. But it was great to watch.”

Continue Reading

Focus

Holger Rune Beats Evans in Straight Sets and Moves into Round 2

Danish 13th seed praises improved mentality; aims to get back to the top five

Published

on

Ubitennis/Francesca Micheli

Thirteenth seed Holger Rune came through in straight sets 6-4, 6-4, 6-4 over Dan Evans in cold indoor conditions under the roof on Suzanne-Lenglen and goes on to face Italian Flavio Cobolli in round two.

The defeat for Evans meant that there are now no British men left in the singles draw after disappointing first round losses for Andy Murray and Cameron Norrie.

Rune, who once shared a practice session with Evans, admitted it took time to figure out his opponent’s game style: “It’s not that I know his game inside and out. He likes the slice obviously, and he’s a very good grass court player as well so he plays pretty flat over the net. So, yeah, it took a lot of time to adjust.”

Rune, a two-time former quarter finalist at the French Open, broke serve with the score tied at 4-4 in the first set and then served out to take the opener. A single break of serve was enough again in the second, while he had to dig much deeper in the third set when he went 4-2 down but managed to maintain composure to win the last four games to seal victory. The 21-year-old was very satisfied with his first-round performance and was pleased his intense practice sessions had been paying off.

“It was a good start, I think. Very solid match from start to finish. We had a good preparation, I would say. We had obviously time after Rome to really prepare with my game and physically and mentally, as well. I think we used the time right. So now is just to perform and put everything together. We are working always on my game. I think my game is good. My physicality felt great today, so it’s a thing we have really been working on to be able to stay out there and not feel fatigued and feel explosive even after hours of playing, and I definitely felt that today.”

Rune finished the match with eight aces, and more than double the number of winners (44 to 21), while Evans struggled with his serve making less than 50% of first serves in play along with five double faults. Whilst approaching the net numerous times throughout the match, he was passed sixteen times by some wonderful strokes off both wings by his Danish opponent. Rune was impressed with his mentality afterwards: “Mentally I just had to stay composed. You know, there is always challenges in the matches. Today was a call here and there. I thought I stayed composed. Been working on that, as well.”

Rune, who won 75% of points on his first serve definitely felt like he is on the right path to get him back inside the top five of the rankings: “I feel like I’m kind of back on track, have stability in my team, which is nice in my life. So, it’s going in the right direction. I’m improving on court. Now it’s just about getting that few match wins under the belt, to get some rhythm and gain some confidence in the matches as well. Then, I believe, you know, I’m fitter than last year. I’m playing better and improved. I just need to put everything together.”

Continue Reading

Trending